21 September, 2011

Delivering the Book

Today I composed a short email, attached a Word document, and hit 'Send'. In doing so, I delivered the manuscript of my book to my publishers.

The Comic Strip Companion: An Unofficial and Unauthorised Guide to Doctor Who in Comics 1964 – 1979 (to give the full title), has been four long years in the making. I was contracted to write it in late September 2007.

At that time I had not yet been approached to write DVD Production Information subtitles. I was still working full-time. My mum was still alive.

I finished writing the first draft back in June 2009. Since then I've been editing and revising, a process that has proved to be just as time-consuming as getting that first draft written.

I haven't kept a watch on the word count during editing, as I cut far more than I added during this phase - there's few things quite as disheartening as watching the word count plunge - so I was surprised to discover that the manuscript I delivered today was 185,676 words. That is remarkably close to what I predicted nearly three years ago: in December 2008, six months before I finished the first draft, I estimated it would come in at 185,000 words!

I've delivered the book, but it remains to be seen what my publishers make of it. I'm certain that there will be tweaks to be made based on their feedback. After four long years, it's in their hands.

Very soon I'm going to start work on the follow-up volume covering the later years of the comic strip. Hopefully this next book won't take quite so long to write!